Oct 01 2011

“Law and Order: Mutilated Women Unit” ep cleverly appeals to multiple niche fetishes at once

Law and Order Mutilated Women Unit

A murdered teen isn’t lurid enough; better make her a prostitute with HIV.


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  1. bertalou

    What she wasn’t pregnant too? I guess three fetishes is all a one hour program can handle. bah.

  2. bertalou

    Oh and welcome back Twisty! I’ll shut up now.

  3. St. Exuperantius

    But where would I be without TV programs? They teach me to love the patriarchy everyday, in every way.

  4. amrit

    “Law & Order” and “Lifetime Television for Women” were among the top two reasons I gave up my cable television subscription. The other reasons were network news and reality TV.
    My home and my psyche are less polluted, and as a result, I have more energy to actively blame, in real time, the men (and women) in my life who provoke me daily. Plus, it saves close to $800. a year, that I no longer contribute to the P. I really recommend killing your TV.

  5. Someone Else

    I saw exactly one episode of that program, which triggered me so badly I realized I needed to not ever see another.

    In this particular episode, (and there is a IBTP point to this! Stick with me!!) there was the Monster Serial Killer Torturer Rapist, and although they eventually kill the guy (no one weeps), the story — and this part only dimly pricked through my flashbacks, over the course of some years — is that the REAL tragedy is that the woman chasing said Bad Guy does Bad Things. They even pull out the hoary old “those who hunt monsters become them” line.

    See, we can’t be glad if a serial torturing rapist is no longer serially raping and torturing unless the woman who puts him away is wracked with guilt. If she is just damn glad she got rid of him, well, then, she’s a monster JUST LIKE HIM.

    Oh, and she kills herself in the end. Because she’s such a horrible monster. No really, I am not making any of that up. I’d look up the episode name but – honestly? That’s likely the plot of every 4th episode, the particulars hardly matter.


  6. Saurs

    I caught a middling bit of an episode wherein wotsit Martin Short is some kind of pedo, and he gets to deliver this little speech about how the best part of raping young girls is how terrified they look when you attack them and how arousing it is to watch them in pain. And I could be wrong, but I also think your were sort of maybe supposed to sympathize with him because there was some lady somewhere who was worse, either an avenging female relative of one of his victims or a co-conspirator in his rape spree. Maybe the same one Someone Else is thinking of. Anyhow, you could tell Martin Short was digging the part. It was total comedy for him, fuckin’ douche.

  7. Saurs

    (Because I am a masochist, I looked the episode up. It is called “Pure,” and to no-one’s surprise, Short’s character specializes in torturing “virgins,” hardy-har-har I see what you did there, scriptwriters. He also has a toff’s name and a mid-Atlantic accent, which conforms to Law & Order’s particular kind of wish fulfillment, wherein villains must be well bred not because posh folk commit crimes, which they do, but because the writers insist on treating their audience like spiteful children whose class consciousness is poorly developed but violent in the extreme.)

  8. Fede

    It is good to have you back, Twisty.

    The fact that blamers effortlessly see through the insidiousness of the hateful bullshit we are constantly being fed by the entertainment industry – that’s a big part of why I feel safer here than anywhere else. It’s the only place I know of where the blindingly obvious does not escape everyone’s attention all the damn time. Sweet relief!

    Also, what amrit said.

  9. English

    I LOVE this blog and I LOVE you guys. Thanks Twisty and friends for providing me with some trans-Atlantic pure, unadulterated, dude-free blaming whenever I need it most. You are sanity/life-savers…

  10. Amrit

    Jill: Glad you are back. It was starting to feel like “Lord of the Flies” here.
    I kept looking around for my glasses and hoping you’d return to moderate soon.

  11. Catherine

    OTOH, saw some Prohibition last night and was kind of loving it. Frances Willard and Carrie Nation were kicking ass and taking names.

  12. Phledge

    Catherine, I saw that too. It was good, save for the “women are the moral voice of the people” type chicanery that plagued (plagues) the nation.

  13. Jill

    And also that part about how the Women’s Christian Temperance Union couldn’t get any traction, but the minute the dudely Anti-Saloon League stepped up, boom, 18th Amendment! The narrative was that anti-saloon dudes knew how to play the politicians better, but strangely, no mention was made of the fact that the women’s group might have been slightly hampered by their NOT HAVING THE FUCKING VOTE.

    But who doesn’t love that wacky godbag Carrie Nation? What a character.

  14. Keira

    Yuck to SVU.

    There was another episode where the woman detective reveals that she is a child resulting from rape, and the episode goes on to have her question if she is genetically predisposed to violence as a result. No mention on most cop shows of the violence of policing by men, mind you. N

  15. Hattie

    Why complain? At least we’re seeing some women on TV.

  16. Ruby Lou

    When I got to the point where I could no longer stomach program t.v., I imagined it was because t.v. is such an obvious and relentless marketing device, operating on the ‘buy more stuff’ principle. But reading these posts, I’m starting to understand that the constant heavy-handed patriarchal nonsense on t.v. had a lot to do with it. And not just the obnoxious boy stuff, but the Lifetime stuff too, where we get force-fed some dude scriptwriter’s warped version of women and their lives. And it’s totally true, t.v. is getting worse. IBTP.

  17. laxsoppa

    TV watchers (and social media users, as has become evident with the policies Facebook has put in place) get fed all that shit because they/we are NOT the customer. They/we are the PRODUCT media companies sell to their customers, the advertisers. The companies that do not rely on advertising for sustenance and profit are usually co-opted to public patriarchy-upholding duty in other ways (national broadcasting companies come to mind).

    The milking cow gets the rawest deal, and that’s all the average consumer is to media companies. We’re not even people, we’re part of the product.

  18. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The only program more upsetting than SVU is “Criminal Minds”. And the reruns are in circulation endlessly.

  19. susanw

    “Prohibition” is fascinating. Women couldn’t speak out against the entrenched patriarchy that made Saturday night a horror of wasted wages, domestic violence and marital rape because it was accepted that the man was head of the house, and he could drink the rent money, beat his family, and enforce his marital privilege at will. They had to Blame The Alcohol. IBTP.

  20. TwissB

    ‘Way after the fact, Ken Burns’s iconic “Civil War” series is being criticized for glamorizing the Confederate side of the Civil War. I wonder how many years it will take for critics to notice that he is doing the same for the anti-prohibition side of the 18th Amendment. Yes, he does mention the negative side – battered wives and impoverished families – that went along with the men’s clubhouse use of saloons, but he gives more weight to Pete Hamill and that other writer dude who romanticize freedom to get drunk, just as they defend pornography and prostitution as a laudatory example of the right to choose. Note the happy rag-time theme that plays whenever the saloon photos come up.

  21. stacey

    I’ve always thought Ken Burns was a shitty documentarist. He puts way too much of himself (i.e. his biases) into his narrative.

  22. Frumious B.

    @TwissB, “he gives more weight to Pete Hamill and that other writer dude who romanticize freedom to get drunk, just as they defend pornography and prostitution as a laudatory example of the right to choose.”

    Wow, this is incredibly insightful. I mean that sincerely. So, using on the analogies here, alcohol is not inherently evil, nor are saloons. And alcohol plays a huge part in social interactions, religion (ah, not to go there, but there it is), celebration, all sorts of roles. So banning it was just never going to catch on. Alcohol still plays a large role in rapes and violence, both domestic violence and stranger violence (think bar fights). So it’s not an unmitigated good, either. Can all or any of those subtleties be extended to porn? Can one make an argument that sexualized pictures are neither inherently bad nor an unmitigated good? Does it depend on the sexuality being depicted? Cuz there’s some toxic depictions of sexuality out there, yo, even when it’s not porn. Or am I looking at it in wrong direction, and I should be extending the analogy that, just as in a post-patriarchal world, pictures of people fucking will be about as interesting as pictures of amoeba dividing, and I should conclude that in a post-patriarchal world, alcohol will have the attraction of cardboard as a substance to consume?

    Maybe I am carrying the analogy too far and veering dangerously close to porn apologism. But it was insightful to me, and gave me new things to think about regarding both porn and alcohol.

  1. squeee: favourite blogger back from the dead-ish « The Praise of Folly

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